The Life of Enzo Stuarti

Enzo Stuarti was an Italian American musical theater performer and tenor. He was born in Italy's capital city of Rome on March 3, 1919. His given name was Lorenzo Scapone. Enzo’s parents were Flavio and Maria Scapone. Flavio and Maria emigrated to the U.S. from Rome in 1922. They left young Lorenzo with an aunt, but she brought him to the monks of Monte Cassino Abbey where he was raised until he eventually reunited with his parents in 1934, when he was 15. Enzo then lived with his parents in Newark, NJ. He worked with his father, who was a baker by trade. In 1942, he married Esther Mesce and they had two children. 

In 1944, Enzo left the bakery to become a U.S. Merchant Marine. After his service as a Merchant Marine, he returned to sunny Italy to pursue his dream of being a professional tenor. He studied at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. He returned to the U.S. in 1951 where he started performing in Broadway musicals. 

Enzo began using the stage name Larry Stuart, but decided to change it to Enzo Stuarti in 1954, after appearing on “Toast of the Town,” hosted by Ed Sullivan. Mr. Sullivan felt that he should pick an Italian-sounding name. 

His first big break came when he performed at the Plaza Hotel's Persian Room in NYC as the emergency replacement for Katyna Ranieri. It really increased the popularity of this talented Romano. He performed at Carnegie Hall in 1964. Although he never had a hit song on the charts, his voice was admired by famous singers such as Tony Bennett, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. Enzo appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1966 and the Mike Douglas Show in 1967. He was in commercials for Ragu spaghetti sauce in the early 1970s. 

Enzo also performed on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1970. He was on the Johnny Carson show a total of 20 times. In 1971, he appeared at a party for the Italian American Civil Rights League, which was operated by Joseph Colombo, the boss of the Colombo crime family of NYC. In 1971, Enzo made another appearance on the Mike Douglas Show, along with James Brown. He had major gigs in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York City and Atlantic City. He also sang at many Italian American festivals. 

Enzo divorced Esther in 1972 and married an Irish American woman named Thelma Donohoo in 1975. He had a passion for cars and owned many of them. He retired and moved to Texas with Thelma in 2004. The following year, he died of heart failure at the age of 86.